Those attending the Light up a Life service in Newark will include the family of Robert Mahoney of Newark, here is their story …
Doting dad Robert Mahoney spent ten days in Beaumond House Community Hospice before passing away peacefully there with his partner Samantha by his side.
Robert, a 50-year-old construction worker from Newark, was initially misdiagnosed with pneumonia and prescribed anti-biotics to treat the condition.
At Christmas he and his eldest daughter Amy went on a break to Dublin where he continued to feel ill and had a persistent cough.
On his return home, after a CT scan, it was discovered Robert had lung cancer, which was a huge shock to himself and his family.
Robert was told he could have a new therapy drug which would help prolong his life for up to a year, but after multiple hospital admissions he became too unwell to start the new treatment in time and in March he was told he had just one month to live.
“The hospital said there was nothing else that could be done except for palliative care,” said Samantha, his partner of 30 years.
Robert did not wish to die in hospital and with his condition deteriorating by the day he and his family turned to Beaumond House to see if the hospice could help. Robert was admitted on March 11.
“It was like a huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders, to get Robert out of hospital and to a place where we could all be closer together” said Samantha.
Like all patients at the hospice, Robert had his own room giving him the privacy he needed.
Samantha said that once he was in the hospice the staff were able to get on top of his pain for the first time in weeks and the family were always kept fully informed..
She and their daughters Amy and Jessica were able to visit Robert daily along with grand-daughters Violet, 3, and Zara, 2, as well as other family and friends.
Jessica said it was great that they could see their dad all the time in Beaumond House whereas visiting times in hospitals had restricted them before. “We could pop in and see him whenever we wanted. There was always someone with him, which gave dad and us as a family great comfort” she said. “All the staff were lovely and we felt reassured that dad was safe and out of pain.”
The family say that once Robert was admitted to Beaumond House he managed to sleep for the first time in a very long time. He found it difficult to sleep in bed because of his condition and needing 24 hours a day additional oxygen supply to help him breathe. The hospice provided a reclining chair and always made sure Robert was comfortable.
Samantha was with Robert when he died and their daughters were able to join her shortly afterwards to say their goodbyes.
“I feel relieved that dad didn’t die in hospital as that wasn’t his wish,” said Amy. “At Beaumond House dad received outstanding care by all the staff. I am so thankful and grateful for the support from the hospice my dad and my family received when we felt we had nowhere else to turn. “
The family are now planning to help support the hospice in the future.
“Beaumond House is such an asset to Newark,”said Jessica. “People should do everything they can to support it because you never know when you might need it.”